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Southern Thelarai (/θɛləˈraɪ/ or /ˈθɛləraɪ/; General Ka-Weitakhoshiese pronunciation: [θɛlæˈɾ̥aːi̯]), alternatively romanized as Southern Tzhelarhaai and officially known as the Commonwealth of the Peoples of Southern Thelar'áí or simply the Commonwealth of Southern Thelar'áí, is a federation of multiple states and subnational governments situated on the continent of Thelarai and its surrounding archipelagos on the planet of Thalassa, the fourth planet from the Sun, orbiting between the Earth and Mars. It is bordered directly on the north by sparsely-populated Northern Thelarai and on the east by the Tchaheskadian Empire. With over 1.9 billion residents, it is the second most populous nation on Thalassa. Its federal government meets to discuss matters of state in Selohylera, its designated capital city. The largest city is Etalekhelatha, which doubles as the capital of the subnational republic of Thelatsehilatha.
A highly diverse federation, it consists of a wide multitude of sapient races and their cultures, with over 194 national languages officially recognized. Its three main sapient races consist of the Vrakhoiethioaians, a diverse genus of intelligent greenish-skinned quasi-humanoids further subdivided into nine species and subspecies, the largest of which are the Ka-Weitakhoshiese, who make up roughly 64% of the genus. The second sapient race is the Tsethethioaian species, a far smaller race consisting of grayish-skinned highly-intelligent humanoids who nonetheless are discriminated against and granted only limited legal and political rights in comparison to the other races due to their long-standing enmity with the Vrakhoiethioaians. Human immigrants from a war-torn Earth, as well as their Thalassan-born offspring, make up a small, though significant, portion of the population as the third sapient race. Having officially made first contact with the Atlas 6 mission of August 1979, humanity and the Vrakhoiethioaians have maintained cordial relations ever since, largely due to humanity's status in various Vrakhoiethioaian and Tsethethioaian religions as the possible 'chosen race.' Thus, they are generally treated with great respect and veneration and wield a high degree of influence over Southern Thelaraian society, though certain incidents have occasionally caused mild tension to flare up.
A staunch ally of the United Gaian Federation, it is considered by many to also be a satellite state of it due to the sizable influence the Federation exerts over Southern Thelaraian foreign and military policy.
The name Thelar'áí or Tzhelarhaai, shared with the continent where most Southern Thelaraian territory is situated, is thought to stem from two Classical Ka-Weitakhoshiese words, namely tsel, roughly meaning "land," "ground," or "soil," and ruhuwáí, roughly meaning "great," "vast," or "magnificent." These two words later evolved into the modern General Ka-Weitakhoshiese words thela (land) and r'ai (great). Thelar'áí, therefore, roughly means "great landmass," and it also doubles as the General Ka-Weitakhoshiese word for any continent or great island, though various regional dialects and derived languages use another world entirely in order to differentiate the two.
The continent of Thelarai, a main region of origin of the Ka-Weitakhoshiese subspecies, doubled as the site of major developments in their history, such as the establishment of their first civilizations and polities, their subjugation and enslavement by the other, smaller, subspecies of the Vrakhoiethioaians as well as the Tsethethioaians, and the wars of independence and liberation via which the so-called "Millennium of Bondage" ended.
The standard way, in English, to refer to a citizen of Southern Thelarai is as a "Southern Thelaraian" or a "Southern Tzhelarhaaian."
For the sake of clarity, all years and dates will be notated using the Gregorian calendar.
The earliest evidence of Vrakhoiethioaian activity on the continent of Thelarai is known to date back further than 75,000 BCE, a date determined via chronological dating. Prior to the establishment of the first entrenched civilizations and polities on the continent, Vrakhoiethioaian cultures, especially Ka-Weitakhoshiese and Tchaheskadian tribal groups, were largely nomadic in nature and sustained themselves through foraging and hunting. The Ka-Weitakhoshiese, due to their versatility, adaptability, and fertility compared to the other Vrakhoiethioaian taxons, were the most successful in spreading themselves throughout the southern regions of the continent, while the other taxons settled near the western, southern, or eastern fringes of it, being defeated and reduced to smaller numbers by them.
After millennia of foraging and nomadism, the first entrenched Vrakhoiethioaian civilizations were established near rivers and lakes on the southern fringes of Thelarai around 6,500 BCE, not too long after the discovery of agriculture. These civilizations were largely dominated by the smaller Vrakhoiethioaian groups as the Ka-Weitakhoshiese themselves were still largely nomadic around this time, continuing to disperse themselves around the continent. By 2,750 BCE, these smaller groups set up polities on the islands surrounding Thelarai, and the Ka-Weitakhoshiese were finally able to set up stable civilizations on the mainland. Over the millennia, civilizations rose and fell, some conquering others.
Around 750 BCE, the smaller Vrakhoiethioaian taxons attempted to subjugate the various Ka-Weitakhoshiese polities on the mainland. With their superior numbers and weaponry, they were able to partially subdue them. Their occupation was short-lived, however, as the remaining Ka-Weitakhoshiese kingdoms joined forces and used underhanded tactics to frustrate and eventually drive out the invading armies. By 730 BCE, the war had effectively concluded, and the Ka-Weitakhoshiese kingdoms, which had previously united under a pact of mutual defense, went further, forming a political union that would come to be known as the Confederacy. The Confederacy operated as an oligarchic elective monarchy, with the position of leader regularly rotating between the various monarchs of its constituent states...
Southern Thelarai is organized as a federation of states wherein each subdivision is granted a considerable level of autonomy, though some subdivisions, namely the subnational monarchies and republics, are assigned a far greater level of autonomy within it due to their distinct ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Thus, it can be described as an asymmetrical federation.
Its federal government is organized along the lines of a parliamentary republic, though unlike most parliamentary republics, the chief executive acts as both head of state and head of government.